Loco Lubrication

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by jimnrose, Oct 16, 2001.

  1. jimnrose

    jimnrose Member

    I'm at it again; another question.
    I have steam locomotives and relatively new to the hobby, but after installing my first decoder the loco "squeaks" in the forward direction, soooo, I pull up my reference books and find I should use light oil on bearings and grease on the gears. Sounds good until I head to the hobby stores. Some say not to use grease because the grease will retain the dirt and wear down the plastic gears. Others say light oil will run onto the tracks and cause a major electrical contact problem as well as hold the dirt, even when the oil is used sparingly.
    Now for the question: Should grease be replaced with a medium or heavy oil but still use light oil at motor bearings?
    Thanks, Jim
  2. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    OK, let's make this a two-for one(?) question: What is "clock oil?" My I.H.C. locomotive says to use clock oil on it. I've only run it a few seconds (I don't have an HO layout...yet).

  3. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    oils ain't oils.

    I use Labelle 107 oil, very light multi use synthetic. (so it says on the bottle). Used very sparingly, it did quieten down my locos and does not leave any residue around.
  4. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    I also use Labelle products, oil and grease. Recently I had problems with Life Like FA2's not running too well. To make a long story short, it was due to overlubrication from the factory. After removing the cover plate on the bottom of the trucks, I cleaned excess grease off the square bearings used to conduct power from the wheels to the motor and lubed with Conductalube, I believe from Atlas. I am tempted to suggest this for all light weight lube jobs, but am not sure yet how effective it will remain. It did a great job on getting the Fa's to run well. Always apply lube sparingly (one drop) Most new locos you buy will be overlubed so you shouldn't need to do anything unless the unit displays erratic performance for first 30 seconds it runs, in which case you should clean excess lube.

  5. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi Guys,
    I use "TRI-FLOW" with Teflon for all my lub jobs, also oil the shaft ends on the motor as it can run dry.

  6. nscaler

    nscaler New Member

    rory- I use a Life-like lubrication kit, Atlas sells one that seems to be better. They just mean a "light oil".
  7. JeffGerow

    JeffGerow Member

    Be careful in assuming that a new engine is "over-lubricated" -- Some sit on the shelf long enough for the lube to dry out (and some were lubricated inadequately to start with).

    I run the engine, listen and look at all the easy, visable spots to see if something may be needed. If there is any "weirdness" at all, I open it up and clean it, then apply minimal lubrication. Make sure to use lubricants that are "plastic-safe" -- your "basic" oil can dissolve plastic. I have used LaBelle products and am now using the Aerocar lube family (also sold by Bachmann and (I think) Atlas). This is a vegetable-based oil that works very well. In all cases, "minimal" is the key -- just enough lubrication to do the job, not so much to drip or attract dirt.

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